Friday, December 3, 2010
Translated from the Swedish by Kari Dickson
Ex-con Piet Hoffman is a covert informant for the Swedish police. He's infiltrated the Polish mafia and is working his way to the top bosses when someone is murdered during a drug deal gone bad. Eric Wilson, Piet's handler, now wants him to go deeper into the mafia to uncover their plan to take control of illegal drug distribution within the Swedish prison system.
Years earlier when they recruited him, Piet had nothing to lose and was willing to take on any assignment despite the danger. Now that he's married with a family, he's more reluctant but agrees to take on his deadliest mission, despite the fact that using criminals for police investigations is not actually approved of in Sweden. Meeting with his handler and a very secret group of government officials, he extracts the promise that if he is successful, he'll be free of his commitment to the police and he and his family will be relocated outside the country, similar to our Witness Protection Program.
Problems arise when Detective Inspector Ewert Grens, a sad and lonely colleague of Eric Wilson, is assigned to investigate the murder. Grens works doggedly despite the roadblocks thrown in his way to keep him from finding out Hoffman's identity and destroying Hoffman's chance of success. Hoffman's life hangs in the balance between the Polish mafia and the government group that's supposed to be protecting him that now wants him dead.
If you're a fan of the late Stieg Larsson and THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO series, this book won't disappoint. The interesting duo of journalist Roslund and ex-criminal Hellstrom has created an intense and intelligent Swedish police procedural that gives the reader a glimpse into the Swedish criminal world and prison system.
If you're only going to read one book in January, THREE SECONDS should be the one!